#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 6, 2017

by Allison Turner

Pass a clean DREAM Act now!; SCOTUS hears arguments in Masterpiece case; Deadline for new ACA signups Dec. 15

HAPPENING TODAY -- RALLY AT CAPITOL URGING CONGRESS TO PASS A CLEAN DREAM ACT NOW: Dreamers will converge on the Capitol to urge lawmakers to protect them from attacks by the Trump-Pence Administration. Dreamers are recipients of DACA, created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. Thanks to DACA, Dreamers who meet certain guidelines are able to attend college, obtain driver's licenses and work permits to support their families. Among those who would be affected by DACA’s rollback -- 36,000 LGBTQ DACA recipients. With every day they delay, lawmakers are putting more and more people at risk of deportation. HRC continues to pressure Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act and protect Dreamers, including the thousands who are LGBTQ. More from The Washington Post.

  • Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced a partisan bill on DACA. The real solution to keeping Dreamers in the U.S. -- the only home many of them have only known -- is to pass a clean Dream Act Now. We are disappointed that Grassley and Cornyn are playing partisan games instead of supporting the bipartisan bill that has the votes to pass. More from The Hill.
  • “Deportation to the countries of birth might mean a death sentence to LGBTQ DACA recipients,” Luis F. Gomez, a California-based Dreamer, told KPCC.

SCOTUS HEARS ARGUMENTS IN MASTERPIECE, CASE OF BUSINESS THAT TURNED AWAY SAME-SEX COUPLE: The case, which will be decided by next June, will either protect the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people -- or it could set a dangerous precedent giving businesses a license to discriminate. The case involves Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s statewide non-discrimination law. Represented by the SPLC-designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips -- who lost before the Colorado Supreme Court -- was granted the Supreme Court hearing to make a claim that he should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious freedom and freedom of speech grounds. The Trump-Pence Administration has also entered this case to back the baker’s claim. Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of the most significant Supreme Court cases of the year, and the outcome could have sweeping consequences for every single LGBTQ American and millions of others. More from HRC and Pink News.

  • #OpenToAll: HRC is a proud member of the “Open To All” coalition. As a nation, we decided a long time ago that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone, on the same terms. Learn more here.
  • An online survey notes that 60 percent of Americans believe that wedding professionals should be required to serve same-sex couples, and millennials are more likely than other generational groups to oppose service refusal. Check out the full findings here.
  • “The kind of discrimination we’re looking at here is not only dangerous to the economic and personal well-being of the LGBT community, but to the health and prosperity of all minorities in America,” writes Justin Nelson (@NGLCCJustin) and Chance Mitchell, cofounders of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce in The Advocate.
  • Trump OK with businesses hanging anti-LGBTQ signs, says White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. See her comments at the Advocate.
  • Must reads: From WaPo’s Dana Milbank (@Milbank), “The Supreme Court cake case has an easy answer;” and from the ACLU’s Ria Tabacco Mar in NYT, “The Colorado Cake Case Is as Easy as Pie.”

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY: Last week, former President Barack Obama addressed a town hall in New Delhi, where a transgender advocate asked his advice on overturning the country’s anti-LGBTQ law. Obama responded, “It begins with what you just did, which is to find your voice, and articulate your views, your experiences and tell your story. And that's true of any group that is marginalized, stigmatized. Finding that voice and being able to tell a story so that the perceptions that somehow you are different are changed... people start recognizing their own experiences in you, they see your humanity.” More from Refinery29.

MORNING MUST READ FROM HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE -- TRUMP WANTS MILLENNIALS TO FORGET ABOUT THE ACA’S DEADLINE: McBride (@SarahEMcBride) shared the harrowing story of losing her husband, Andy, to cancer, and the privilege he had to be insured through the process. “The vast majority of people our age will thankfully never have to face what Andy endured, but for many that will be because they took the steps to take care of their health and signed up for health insurance,” McBride writes. “Before he passed, Andy urged our fellow LGBTQ community members to educate themselves on the plans offered under the ACA and, if possible, to sign up for insurance before they potentially needed it most.” More from The Advocate.

SUPPORT TRANS YOUTH BY HOSTING AN I AM JAZZ READING DECEMBER 7: I Am Jazz author Jessica Herthel (@jessicaherthel) reflects on how communities can stand up for transgender children amid attacks by the Trump-Pence administration and some state legislatures: “We are not powerless in this moment. Far from it. Inspired by the residents of Mount Horeb and organized by the Human Rights Campaign, thousands of people will convene across our nation on December 7, in schools and libraries, churches and living rooms, to again read I Am Jazz in an inspiring show of solidarity with our transgender youth, and a public repudiation of hate.” More from Bustle.

IN RUSSIA, MISINFORMATION & STIGMA ARE RESULTING IN TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV: Local media and blogs have spread the lie that HIV and AIDS are fake diseases thought up by American pharmaceutical companies. This has had devastating consequences, with HIV diagnoses in Russia soaring.  Officials at the Irkutsk AIDS Center told reporter Anna Nemtsova (@annanemtsova) that only a third of people living in HIV in the region are receiving treatment -- and many believe the virus is a hoax. More from The Daily Beast.

VIRAL LGBTQ SHORT FILM IN A HEART BEAT SHORTLISTED FOR OSCAR NOM: The animated short film follows a closeted boy falling in love with another boy. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

#LOVEWINS -- AUSTRIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT LEGALIZES MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The country’s highest court ruled that the country must allow same-sex couples to marry by 2019. More from The Associated Press.

PROMINENT CHICAGO LGBTQ ADVOCATE MARTY ENRIGHT DIES AT 85: He owned the local LGBTQ restaurant “Buddies,” which supported Equality Illinois, the Illinois Gay Rodeo Association, LesBiGay Radio, Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame and sponsored numerous men's and women's LGBTQ softball teams. More from Windy City Times.

SHAMEFUL -- PRO-EQUALITY SIGN DEFACED BY ANTI-LGBTQ, WHITE SUPREMECIST MESSAGES: The vandals drew swastikas, as well as other anti-LGBTQ, white supremecist messages on a pro-equality Kathy Hill’s yard sign Geneva, Ill. Last month, a local church was also targeted with anti-LGBTQ messages. More from The Beacon-News.


HORRIFYING -- TWO MEN ARRESTED AND TORTURED IN UZBEKISTAN: They face up to three years in prison under the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws criminalizing same-sex intimate relations. More from Gay Star News.

LONDON TEENAGER ATTACKED ON TUBE, TWO ARRESTED: After being assaulted and threatened, the 19-year-old was forced to apologize for being gay. More from NewsTalk


HuffPost shares a first-person narrative on growing up Black and gay in the South; New York Post previews ‘Will & Grace’s’ upcoming holiday episode; Vice interviews five LGBTQ people about the word ‘femme’; The Washington Post reviews “Draw the Circle,” a new solo show with transgender themes; PinkNews highlights 11 bisexual celebrities and advocates; TIME announces that The Silence Breakers -- those who bravely came forward with accounts of sexual assault and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement -- are Person of the Year.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

A.M. Equality